Renowned Israeli poet, publicist and literary critic Menahem Ben passed away on Friday at the age of 71. Ben suffered from a brain injury several months ago and was admitted to hospital overnight Thursday.Ben, who wrote for many years for The Jerusalem Post's sister publication, Ma'ariv, authored 17 books, including six poetry books, two children's books, six poetry review books and poetry selections (including the bestselling "The Most Beautiful Poems in Hebrew"), and a book of thoughts about God.The poet also won the Prime Minister's Award for Hebrew Writers twice, in 1989 and 2016 as well as the Bernstein Prize, in the Literary Criticism category.In March 2009, Ben took part in the celebrity version of reality TV show "Big Brother" and came third in the final program. Ben's remarks and views sparked the ire of most of the program's participants, and he received a great deal of public attention that included mixed reactions.In 2014, he again participated in the reality show in its sixth season, but, after only 22 days, he was ousted from the house. Ahead of the 20th Knesset, Ben announced his intention to run for primaries for Jewish Home, but that did not materialize, and he joined the Economy Party and placed second on the list. A few days later, he demanded that the first member of the list retire, so that he would be placed in first place and lead the party to the elections. When no answer was received, Ben retired and removed his candidacy from the Economy Party's list.